The University of Iowa

'Separating the Folk Sound from the Folk Body' is topic of SASP lecture April 5

April 2nd, 2012

Please join the South Asian Studies Program (SASP) for the following lecture:

Separating the Folk Sound from the Folk Body

"Separating the Folk Sound from the Folk Body: Schizophonia in the Music Industry of the Garhwal Himalayas"

Presented by: Stefan Fiol, Assistant Professor of Music, University of Cincinnati

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012,
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: 1117 University Capitol Centre

Over the past several decades vernacular music industries in many parts of South Asia have utilized artistic traditions originating in Dalit communities to create marketable commodities of “folk culture.” Why do music industries that celebrate and seek to raise the profile of “folk arts” (lok sangeet) also routinely neglect and exploit regional “folk artists” (lok kalakar)? By attending to the experiences of musicians from three hereditary caste communities in the Garhwal Himalayas—Baddi, Bajgi, and Jagariya—and by interrogating the body politics of a number of mass-mediated representations, this talk will interrogate the idea that new media and vernacular markets have had a democratizing influence on musical practice. Instead, I demonstrate that entrenched and widely-shared conceptions about caste-based status, function, musical style, and mobility continue to influence who is allowed to participate in regional studio recordings, and how they are ultimately represented on video and cassette albums.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Frederick M. Smith at or 319-400-1295.